No Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Nexus 4 LTE, or next-gen Nexus 7 at Google I/O 2013: a disappointment?
Until now the Google I/O event has been a very big disappointment. Of course, the company did launched an interesting set of new features for its software services, but unfortunately no hardware was revealed yesterday. We had big expectations as there have been many rumors about highly awaited devices such as the 32 Nexus 4 LT, the Google X Phone, or the Google Smartwatch. However, none of the mentioned gadgets were showed off. Google did not even launched a the new version of its operating system, namely Android 4.3.
Android’s Sundar Pichai did stated a couple of days ago that the event is not going to be about revealing new OS iteration of Nexus branded devices, and the company will mostly focus on new Google applications and services considering that the I/O is a developer conference after all. However, we thought that the Google officials would make us all a big surprise and announce at least one of the expected hardware.
The keynote lasted longer than expected and the people who watched had a lot to see, but there was not much talk about hardware. The only device that was announced was the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, which has the same specs as the original handset but runs pure Android instead. Also, several Chromebooks were showed on stage, as well as the Chromebook Pixel which is a high-end device and that was given to all the developers and press member that attended the conference. Apart from these pieces of hardware, the Google reps only came with some devices that have been launched already in order to demo some of the new presented features, and we’re talking about the Nexus 4, the iPhone and the iPad.
In case you did not watch the conference and you are not familiar with the Google novelties, the company launched a set of new services like Google Play Games Services, Google Play Music All Access, Android Studio, Google Play for Education and Google Hangouts, and enhanced some of its existing ones such as Google Play Store, Google Play Services, Google Plus, Google Maps and Google Search.
Now let’s talk about what we did not see at the conference, or better, what we have been expected to be announced.
First of all, we were looking forward to see the new Android 4.3, and it was supposed to be the main attraction of the event when it comes to hardware. However, in spite of the fact that the OS version has been spotted in server logs, and also in spite of the fact that Google has revealed itself, the new Android 4.3 was not announced yesterday in San Francisco. Actually, none of the Google officials mentioned anything about an Android update, and did not provide any information about the OS variants that will be released in the future.
Some of the Android users actually though that the internet giant will launch the yet to be confirmed Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Nonetheless, if we take all the latest Android 4.3 news into consideration, an Android 5.0 launch was a long shot anyway.
Moving forward, another expected product has been the next-gen Nexus 7, or the Nexus 7 2, however you want to call it. The new Nexus 7 seemed to be a great device, at least according to the reported technical specifications, and it was even mentioned by an analyst. It’s very curious because the original Nexus 7 was launched at a previous I/O conference, and with this in mind we actually believed that the second generation Nexus 7 will also be revealed at this years event. Sadly, that did not happen. Hugo Barra did and his colleagues did launched a bunch of new application that are supposed to be used on tablets, but the tablet itself was never mentioned.
Now it’s time to talk about the Nexus 4. Over the past several weeks, there have been some rumors suggesting that Google will launch a new model of its Nexus 4, one that will come with 32 GB of internal storage, and will have LTE capabilities. Again, this new version of the Nexus 4 was supposed to be revealed at Google I/O.
Some of the reports have even claimed that the Nexus 5 will be the star of the conference. However, considering that the Nexus 4 was just launched in November 2012, thus it’s still a pretty new handset, the Nexus 5 possibility was rather hard to believe. Still, an updated Nexus 4 would have been nice, and along with a new OS version, it would be surely make a big boom. Moreover, the white variant of the Nexus 4 was not confirmed either.
Last, but not least, we have the Motorola X Phone, a device that has been the subject of much debating for the past couple of months. The rumors say that the X Phone will be a device that should be running pure Android, it will be similar with the Nexus smartphone, but it will not carry its brand.
However, the rumors about the Google X Phone seemed to be very conflicting, with some saying the the X Phone will be launched at the Google I/O event, while others suggesting that the device will be announced sometime in the fall.
Anyway, we still hope that Google will launch at least Android 4.3 at this year’s event, but it’s pretty hard to believe.